One of the things I love most about the Austin improv community is the bustling network of people who do all the support work for improv shows – theater owners, house managers, interns, my fellow tech monkeys, and the photographers. We have a small but mighty band of photographers ranging from enthusiastic amateurs to freelance professionals who photograph a large portion of the improv shows that happen in this town. They are extraordinarily generous with their time, and provide an invaluable service, capturing permanent memories of a performance art that is, by definition, fleeting.
One of the mainstays of the Austin improv scene is Roy Moore of Control Images. He is the man behind the promotional pictures for many of the Gnap! and Institution Theater productions, as well as the official on-site photographer for Blue Goggles Films. He is an adventurous artist with a keen eye for composition and lighting, and a knack for pulling personality and attitude out of two-dimensional still images.
This weekend marks the opening of Roy’s first solo gallery show, DISTILLATION, at the Salvage Vanguard Theater. The collection ranges from stunning portraits – many from those promotional photo shoots – to stolen glances at forgotten, dilapidated, whimsically graffiti’d corners of the city, to colorful abstracts. They have a synesthetic quality, conjuring not just images but a sense of movement, a faint sound. Maybe I’ve just been too immersed in music lately, but looking at some of the abstracts, I could swear I heard a distinct melody that went with each one. The alternate takes of photos I’ve seen a hundred times on show posters and Facebook albums revealed extra dimensions of familiar faces, and made me want to see those shows all over again.
It’s stunning work by an artist who takes real joy from his craft. If you happen to be in Austin, swing by and check it out sometime this month.